Hunger pangs loom large over 11.15 lakh additional families living below poverty line (BPL) in the state, after the Union government informed the state government that it would not provide food grains at central issue price (CIP) for these families beyond June this year.
The warning came with a reminder that the states and Union territories have to implement the National Food Security Act (NFSA)-2013 by that time.
The Centre has already started reducing the monthly allotment of food-grains for such families to 12kg rice per family per month for the period of April to June from earlier 21kg per family per month for the period of September to March last.
“This food-grains allotment of 13,769 tonne of rice and 1,530 tons of wheat at 12kg per family per month for additional BPL families is for the period between April and June 2014 or implementation of NFSA in the state, whichever comes first. There won’t be any allotment beyond June,” the letter from Union ministry of food and supply stated.
This has put 11,15,833 additional BPL families across the state in a spot with the state still to frame its own rules for implementing NFSA here.
“Framing the state rules for NFSA is in the process. We hope to complete it by end of this month. We are confident of implementing NFSA in the state from July,” Dr Pradeep Kumar, Jharkhand food and supply secretary, told HT.
Worse, the quota for the month of April from the latest allotment has already lapsed as lifting could not be done from Food Corporation of India (FCI) godowns owing to failure on the part of PDS dealers in depositing the money with the state food corporation (SFC) for obtaining release orders (ROs) from the FCI. The Centre had given 50-day time for accomplishing the lifting of food-grains quota for the month of April while for May and June the deadline is till 20th of the month concerned.
“The complicated process of depositing money by PDS dealers to us, then to SFC and finally with the FCI for ROs had resulted in lapsing of quota in September and October. Food-grains could be lifted for November to March only. We are trying to lift the quotas for May and June,”Anil Rai, special officer rationing, Jamshedpur, said.